Temper Trap – An inoffensive selection

Let me begin by saying “The Temper Trap are not one of mine.” The follow-up is that I reckon they are a good choice for the Grand Final entertainment. I don’t know their music at all. I checked the iTunes library at work, which runs to 154,000 songs, and we have just one record of Temper Trap – their 2009 debut album Conditions. I have never listened to it. Two songs made the Triple J Top 100 that year. I don’t know the songs. They have actually only released two albums, the second coming out earlier this year. Haven’t heard it. But they are still a good choice.

The Temper Trap have not been selected in isolation. Paul Kelly will be on pre-game as is Tim Rogers. Kelly is just brilliant – he should perform every year even if it just to sing “Leaps and Bounds”. Rogers is a little trickier, because it depends on which one you get. I imagine that a mid-afternoon show you are likely to get the gentler version – the one you see on the AFL promotional ads. I have seen him live a few times this year. The first time was at a free show in the park at Williamstown on an Summer Sunday afternoon. He introduced his mainly-solo performance with something along the lines that he did not know this was going to be an all-ages event and that restriction meant that he had only three songs in his repertoire. Which wasn’t true of course but it was a good line. And it was a very fine performance for the occasion. The second time was when he fronted his band You Am I at the Hi Fi in the city. This was not-so-good Tim. The voice was a bit ragged and the demeanour more rock-star-like. Yes he did get his shirt off. The third time was at the now-closed Phoenix Public House in Brunswick. He was part of a put-together group doing a tribute show to The Replacements. This was Bad Tim, which for this show was actually appropriate. But it is not the Tim you want to get Grand Final Day.

From what I do know of Temper Trap, they have had a degree of international success, particularly in the US. They are probably just a little bit mainstream for my liking, which is why I don’t know them and which is what makes them a good choice. Last year pre-game I was in Perth driving a mini-bus-load of young lacrosse players from the airport to their accommodation. I didn’t hear the Meatloaf performance but the ABC radio commentary at the time let me know that what I was missing was worth missing. About a month earlier I had actually been part of a live regional WA ABC radio discussion in on the merits of the selection of Meatloaf. The outcry had been unanimously negative – and that was before he had actually performed. The Temper Trap announcement, which had been widely leaked, is only recent, but the initial reaction has been on the positive side of ambivalent, which is about where you want it. My only complaint is that among the performance selections, there are no females. Maybe they should have gone for Megan Washington. But not on the same bill as Tim Rogers.

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. Love the last line, Andrew! Yes, that would be a slightly uncomfortable scenario. No longer making beautiful music together!

    Andrew D must have handed over the role of music selector following the Meatloaf debacle. He would surely have never even heard of Temper Trap, let alone heard their music.

  2. Perhaps “The Dead Kennedys” with that great anthem ‘Too Drunk to F%@k’ might go down well Andrew.

  3. I reckon the Temper Trap could serenade Scarlo and Ballantyne on Saturday night.

  4. Ben Footner says

    The Temper Trap is an excellent choice. When Meatloaf was sucking the big one last year I actually commented that a big current Aussie band like The Temper Trap would be a much better option.

    I’m sick of the AFL digging up old codgers every year. Using Akka Dakka for the promos?? There has been some music made since the 70’s & 80’s believe it or not.

    Hooray for some common sense and faith in current Australian music.

  5. Andrew Fithall says

    I thought I had better enlighten myself on The Temper Trap so have started playing their 2009 album Conditions. As soon as the vocals commenced on the first song, Love Lost, I was reminded of a Paul Kelly article in The Monthly on The New Castrati. It can be found at http://www.themonthly.com.au/new-castrati-too-much-heaven-their-minds-paul-kelly-2978. Funnily enough, The Temper Trap get a mention – as does Tim Rogers.

    And as often happens – I am not as unaware of them as first thought. The third song Sweet Disposition is very familiar. There will probably be others.

  6. Andrew Starkie says

    AF, you so are phat and hip.

  7. Andrew Starkie says

    Would’ve loved to have seen Shakin Stevens but. Nik Kershaw? Spandau? Feargal?

  8. Andrew Fithall says

    Andrew S – I am not hip enough to understand what is meant by phat. Are you being rude?

  9. Megan Washington would have been a far better choice as an all round performer and entertainer than Rogers & Kelly. There was a dire ARIA Awards a couple years ago and she single handedly rescued the show from the abyss. Might have been a better choice politically as well – to include a female somewhere over the course of the 8 hours.

    I wonder if the Temper Trap playing after the game as opposed to a really big time international act was a measure to mitigate issues of crowd management. Too many coming in and out at once and all that..

  10. Ben Footner says

    ‘Conditions’ has been very popular backing song to sporting highlights since Temper Trap released it, both here and abroad.

  11. Weddings, Parties, Anything should be given a chance. Let them play ‘Monday’s Experts’, ‘Roaring Days’ and ‘Under The Clocks’ and the crowd will be buzzing.

  12. AF – didn’t Tim Rogers play just before Meatloaf last year? I was so edgy before the game I can’t recall. Whoever it was their ballads got completely lost in the crowd noise and sounded very fragile. If it was Tim I hope he blasts them out a bit more this year.

    Personally I’d love to see Neil Young pumping out “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Poccahontis” (amongst many others)

  13. Peter Flynn says

    Just play Baby It’s You by Promises on the big screen.

  14. I’d love to see Neil Young pump out “For the Turnstiles” as the crowd is spilling into the G, followed by “I waited for you Winterlong”

  15. I’d love to see Andrew Demetriou belting out “Nessun Dorma”

  16. Andrew Fithall says

    Can’t answer your question Dips because the day has been wiped from my memory. Flynny – I didn’t have Baby It’s You on iTunes so went searching. Now know why I didn’t have it on iTunes. Also know why you should never have any input into my music listening let alone input into GF entertainment. Now have to go through same process that has enabled me to expunge memory of GF day 2011. Some brainwashing may be involved. And beer.

  17. What about the Eurythmics Starkie?

  18. The pre-game and half time entertainment at the AFL grand final has always been pathetic; sound systems have been poor and choreography of kids running around with bits of paper/material have been poor.
    The grand final is also a poor venue for solo performers such as Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers.
    I have never heard of the band Temple Trap, but I suspect that they are a similar contemporary rock band to Jet who played at the AFL GF a few years back. Jet were a good band but playing on the MCG was inappropiate.
    The best GF pre-game/half time entertainment in Australia was Tina Turner at an NRL grand final about 20 years back and she had two great songs for the event: ‘Simply the Best’ and ‘Whatever you Want you Get’. The Hoodoo Gurus also played at an NRL grand final about 10-15 years back which sounded OK. Perhaps the NRL organise a better sound system.

  19. Jet have never met a 70s riff they never ripped off…

  20. Here’s an idea (and I know we’ve been over this before) but why doesn’t the AFL play the VFL grandfinal before the big game? Just a thought.

    Leave the music for the after party.

  21. Ben Footner says

    They used to play the vic under 18’s GF before the main game didn’t they?

  22. Dips. Because then the people who have followed the VFL grand final teams all season wouldn’t get to see them in the big game.

    If I was the marketing director of the AFL I’d have silence at half time so people could talk about the game or other things.

  23. Pamela Sherpa says

    Just get rid of all the so called entertainment rubbish and have the footy on GF day.

  24. Peter Schumacher says

    I can’t stand any of this stuff it’s a bloody footy day for heaven’s sake so why not play the seconds GF that day and thirds and the fourths before that and leave the rock bands an or singers or whatever they are until about midnight when they will be most appreciated. And if it is necessary to have some to have someone sing the national anthem, and I suppose that I have to concede that it is, please have an artist or artists who are able to sing it, with feeling, preferably in key, and in sync, rather than has happened on occasion, someone who murders it.

    Meanwhile, in a totally unassociated whinge and which I thus appreciate should be the subject of a separate thread, why can’t there be a seconds and colts competition fielded by the 18 teams which make up the competition? A lot of people would be interested to see first hand how their seconds and juniors were going.

  25. It’s interesting to note that before the 1977GF Replay the VFL somehow convinced Richmond and Hawthorn to play as the curtain raiser, being the 3rd & 4th finishing teams. Perhaps if the AFLPA are so enamoured with State of Origin or a mickey mouse East v West concept then a GF curtain raiser might tick a few boxes and alleviate the hand wringing over trying to cater to a multitude of musical tastes.

  26. Craig Tucker says

    To be honest Andrew, I go to the footy for the footy. I don’t go to listen to music, I do that where bands play, the car radio, or when the kids fire up things on youtube. The quarter time breaks in football are for standing up and stretching the legs, grabbing a cuppa and a bite to eat and discussing what is going on in the game, where it is likely to go, and what the coach has to do to stop the opposition full forward from kicking any more goals. It should be relatively relaxing time, rather than be faced with excessive noise from announcements.

  27. Craig, it seems elementary, but somehow it just won’t happen. Must add a fair bit to costing and thus ticket prices. Must say that I have not seen a pre-match singer since Rolf (78?). I don’t even like the Anthem!

  28. Dennis Gedling says

    Great points on Tim Rogers. As someone who has seen You Am I a hell of a lot over the years you do get the good, bad and ugly of Tim but great to finally see him at least on GF day. On the same weekend his shinboners made the GF in 1996 he was playing a show at the old Boans Warehouse in Perth.

    Tim: “So who’s going to win the Grand Final next Saturday?”

    Crowd:”Sydney! Go Swans etc”

    Tim: “Come f*****g talk me next Saturday.”

    Temper Trap are easy to ignore, no one will be arsed to criticise them and won’t be put up on a pedestal like Sir Meat was last year.

    You Am I did the NRL Grand Final a couple of years ago and belted out covers of general generic rock and did a good job so Tim will be fine. Speaking of that, near death experiences for Billy Idol aside the NRL seem to do a better job of pregame entertainment.

  29. Barry Levinson says

    Not a massive fan of Paul Kelly or the Temper Trap, for that matter, but thought it was staggering that the only Paul Kelly who had performed on GF day up until this year was the 1995 Brownlow Medallist. Australia has a thriving music industry and it’s about time the AFL recognised it. I’m sure the acts they have chosen would collectively be a lot cheaper than an old bloke who hasn’t had a ‘hit’ for 30 years too. Interesting comments re Tim Rogers, Andrew. I see him regularly and he is hands down one of the best live performers, but he definitely can be moody and when he’s in a bad mood, it’s not always the best gig. But being unpredictable is just part of what you get with the great man. Having said that, I too have found him to be at his charming best when he plays solo and I don’t think there will be any worries on the big day. They haven’t named a singer for the anthem yet. Hopefully Meagan Washington gets a gig ahead of the stock standards like Anthony, Prior, Durham or any former reality singing show contestant.

  30. Meagan Washington has her involvement in Nine’s ‘The Voivce’ going against her. As the broadcaster, it’s all about cross-promotion for Seven. Ten had Charlie-fucking-pickering on their coverage last year! Jesus wept!

    So with that in mind, here’s a list of what we could get:
    * Scary Spice (Dancing with the Stars; X-Factor)
    * Guy Sebastian, Ronan Keating or Natalie Bassingthwaite (X-Factor)
    * Random X-Factor contestants
    * Larry Emdur

    If you think that sounds awful, Hamish McLachlan will likely be the empty-shirt gluing it all together.

  31. Trevor Blainey says

    does it have to be music? my dream is (has been) of a giant wrestling ring in the centre of the ground with all 18 club mascots duking it out under Royal Rumble rules. last one standing wins. I’d give anything to see that Blue Boy poonce suplexed off the top rope by, well, any one of the others. then Akka Dakka would be appropriate. Dirty Deeds indeed.

    if however music is the go can they please hire a half decent sound system. to date its sounded like a crystal set on half rat power. and hire acts that have recorded something new since the turn of the century and not bands that can’t get a gig at the Benalla RSL because they’re too old hat.

  32. A great Australian band for an open air venue such as the MCG on grand final could be the Darwin band ‘Yothu Yindi’, but I am not sure that they still perform. I think they may have retired a few years ago due to the ill-health of Mandawuy Yunupingu.

  33. Andrew Fithall says

    Not sure about Yothu Yindi Mark, but No Fixed Address, who preceded Yothu Yindi played at Queenscliff Music Festival last November. Lead singer Bart Willoughby was probably the only original member. He was sporting scars from recent serious heart surgery. One of the former Yothu Yindi members Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is performing at Queenscliff this year.

  34. Having attended an NRL GF once I can inform that the sound system at the ground is also “crystal set/half rat power” style. It is designed for the tv viewing audience and not the fans who have forked out their hard earned. Couldn’t understand the ground announcements either…

    Tim and Paul are a fine choice. Both have some sporting heritage one way or another. And I have played cricket with You Am I behind the Byron Bay RSL Club. Still checking the Meats sporting credentials.

  35. Bear in mind, that originally Meatloaf was an “inoffensive” choice. When he was announced there was general support for the Loaf. It was only when he performed that people saw how aged his shtick was and how shot his voice had become.

    I reckon this year’s choice is, in its own way, as mistaken as was the Loaf. Seriously, who gives a toss about the Temper Trap. Yes, they’re an upcoming band but an occasion as big as the Grand Final deserves a known and proven performer. Someone that’ll blow you away. I love Paul Kelly but he aint a stadium show. That was proven at Hanging Riock when he supported Leonard Cohen. Supported. I make this point with respect to Paul Kelly because he is one of Australia’s best and most enduring song-writers. But he aint The Rolling Stones. Neither is Tim Rodgers.

    For a gig like the GF you want a performer that has at least a half dozen songs that the crowd know off by heart. And can be pumped out with a sound system that’d knock your socks off. As Jimmy Fallon would say, you want an act that’d blow your pants off. The AFL had the right idea going with an act of Meat Loaf’s calibre but they have to pick a band with the cred to go with it. The act doesn’t have to be home grown, but they do have to make you go wow.

    If the AFL can’t dig that basic premise or don’t want to make the entertainemnt the main attraction (that would never happen) then they should drop the pretense and take it back to footy’s basics and have Barry Crocker sing the National Anthem and One Eyed Trouser Snake. The very inoffensiveness of the choice for this year’s GF entertainment is what makes it so offensive.


  36. Rick, I can’t believe you were in transit on 1) the day the Hawks were playing in a final, and 2) the day that Dylan’s Tempest was released in Australia. I’m sure you’ve caught up with both by now. Looking forward to a review.

  37. Work trip to London, couldn’t turn that down. Had the Dylan record a week ago. Brilliant, absolutely. Now off to watch England in World Cup qualifier, with a stop at Kilburn for a larger or two.


  38. “Soon After Midnight” and “Long and Wasted Years” are works of beauty. I know art is never a competition, but even latter-day ally-cat Dylan makes some of these modern songwriters sound like Billy Joel.

  39. I agree with the songs you mentioned. Soon After Midnight is almost his laughing response to his own, Not Dark Yet becuase there’s probably not another songwriter who could so expressively respond to it. Ry Cooder, Springsteen and Mr Cohen have all released new records this year and they, while not being Bob, also put most modrn songwriters to the blade. I love Pay in Blood (I don’t even re ckon Dylan could translate his garbled, age wrecked voice, first line in that song, but man, I get it! The title track is stunning and a beautiful finish with his tribute to Lennon.

    And, just in case Almanacers haven’t seen the clip to a song off Dlyan’s latest, here it is:

    He’s the bomb!

  40. NO music. Save the money and maybe reduce ticket prices all year. No one in the crowd or TV land needs to be excited by music – we just want the game to start. The GF is not the right event for a short concert by solo artist or band no matter how good or worthy of showcasing. I was at the GF where Lionel Ritchie played. Lots of people know his daggy songs but the GF is not the place. A curtain raiser game would be a good spectacle for those who get there early. The players’ footrace or longest kick competition is mildly entertaining.
    A recording of the music of the national anthem (I don’t like it much either) is enough and I love the massive roar that goes up during the last notes.

  41. My best day at a GF at the MCG was 1992. I saaw the TAC Cup GF, followed by the Reserves GF, followed by the big one. Pretty simple really.

    Must admit though, there was one time (not sure if it was a final or a GF) where they had a kicking competition between the different codes (AFL, NFL, soccer, rugby) which was kind of interesting. Does anyone remember that.

  42. I’m going to put myself in the hocks and wait for the Almanackers to let fly with the rotten fruit, but… I actually don’t mind the idea of a 5.15pm Grand Final. Time to get stuff done during the day (and allows for a bigger ‘build up’), doesn’t finish too late and with the sun set by half time, it opens the possibility for some more ‘spectacular’ half-time entertainment in place of the pre-game entertainment.

    Gillon, I had you pegged all wrong.

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